Having already lost one series to the Seattle Mariners this season, the Boston Red Sox made sure to even the score with yesterdays 2-1 win at Fenway Park. The victory also helped the Sox win the three game set 2 games to 1, avenging their 2 games to 1 series defeat in Seattle in late May. The Sox have won 8 of their last 10 games and currently sit atop the AL East ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays by 1 1/2 games.
Justin Masterson pitched another gem for Boston tossing 6 strong innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. The victory improves his record to 3-0 on the season with an ERA of only 2.59. These numbers are certainly good enough for the Sox to consider keeping him on their active roster even after Clay Buchholtz and Dice-K Matsuzaka return from the DL.
“Anytime you get called up, you want to do your best,” Masterson said. “I am just trying to give us a chance to win.”
So far, mission accomplished for the rookie right hander.
“Every time he takes the ball, the organization’s got their chest out a little, as they should,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “This isn’t a fluke. He’s been prepared very well how to pitch, how to act and how to compete. It’s exciting.”
J.D. Drew blasted the go-ahead home run in the 6th inning, giving the Sox the 2-1 lead for good. The homer was Drew’s 8th of the year. Since DH David Ortiz was placed on the DL, Drew has continued to produce day in and out since being moved into the 3rd spot in the line up. Over the past 8 games, Drew is hitting .519 (14-27) and has hit safely in all 8 of the games.
Once Masterson exited the game, Boston’s bullpen continued its recent dominance. Craig Hansen issued a walk to the first battered he face but then retired the next three batters recording 2 strike outs. Hideki Okajima worked a perfect 8th and Jonathan Papelbon came in to pitch a perfect 9th recording his 18th save of the season.
Some good news was announced to Red Sox nation before the game when Francona publicized in a press conference that Jacoby Ellsbury would return to the lineup on Tuesday evening. Ellsbury suffered a wrist sprain against Tampa Bay making a diving catch in center-field and had not played since but will be available for the Baltimore series.
Tuesday’s starting pitching match up features Josh Beckett going against the O’s Daniel Cabrera. Beckett is coming off a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay while Cabrera suffered a 7-5 loss to Minnesota in his previous outing. The two met in Boston’s 5-2 win a week ago that went 13 innings. Both pitched well but neither factored into the decision.
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